Obituary for Mary Lou Illingworth (Stevenson)
“Well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21
Mary Lou was born to Wilford and Dora Stevenson on January 27th, 1936 on Lime Island in Chippewa County, Michigan and was the youngest of three girls. She attended Loretto High School in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and graduated in 1953. On January 1st, 1960, she met James (Jay) Illingworth and they were married on August 13th, 1960 in “the Soo” and settled in Hershey, PA for 35 years. A constant volunteer, Mary Lou was involved in Girl Scouts as a Leader and Service Unit Manager, Boy Scouts, and Derry Township School Advisory Group Secretary. She taught Suzuki piano method and the art of music to over 100 students for over 20 years. When Jay and Mary Lou retired to North Carolina, Mary Lou became involved in the Red Cross, bringing in disaster relief support to Franklin County. She created the Safety Committee for Lake Royale and KOS (Kick Off Summer) for residents at the lake community where they lived. She was also a member of the Royale Aires Choral Group and Square Liners Dance group.
Mary Lou was an integral part of her church, Our Lady of the Rosary, in Louisburg, NC. She established the Food Pantry, which fed hundreds of families and children over the last 20 years. She assumed the position of Choir Director, and helped with the musical needs of the church. As a concerned parishioner, she oversaw the request for grants from the diocese to create the Migrant Ministry and began an afterschool-tutoring program for school age students. She also created a Health Care Ministry for Women and the uninsured. It’s easy to say, that where Mary Lou saw a need she took action to create a solution.
She is predeceased by her parents, Wilford and Dora Stevenson, and her sister Virginia Roell. She leaves behind her loving husband of 57 years, Jay Illingworth and her sister, Doris (Stevenson) McKinch. She also leaves behind her oldest daughter, Kathleen Holland (Dan Holland), son, Jim and daughter, Kristen (Mark Miller), and 7 grandchildren: Angie Holland, Aly Holland, Harley Illingworth, Matthew Illingworth, Mitchell Miller, Amelia Miller and Kiera Miller.
Mary Lou will be missed by so many, but would want those to enjoy life and live in her honor, by giving back to those in need. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Food Pantry at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Louisburg, NC or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish;
I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements are being handled by Lancaster Funeral &Cremation Services, Louisburg, NC. Online condolences may be made at www.lancasterfcs.com .